The Ratzingerian constants and the maintenance of harmony in the church

Some years ago, my friend Msgr. Francis Mannion wrote an article concerning the three essential features of the eucharistic liturgy — namely, the priest, the rite and the people. When these elements are in proper balance, rightly ordered liturgy obtains. Further, from these categories, he argued, we can discern the three typical distortions of the liturgy: clericalism (too much of the priest), ritualism (a fussy hyper-focus on the rite) and congregationalism (a disproportionate emphasis on the people). It was one of those observations that just manages to spread light in every direction.

Close the distance, not the gate

Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison, assessing the times, asks this question: “Why should we want to know a stranger when it is easier to estrange another? Why should we want to close the distance when we can close the gate?” Except this isn’t a question, it’s a judgment.

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